Stomachaches are not an uncommon complaint for children. It makes sense–many of the body’s most vital organs are all taking up the same, relatively small space. It doesn’t help that children aren’t the best at describing the kind or exact location of the pain.
A stomachache could be a sign the child’s body is simply fighting off a cold or flu, or that they ate too much, or are hungry. It could also be a sign of something more serious. But there are other, far more manageable things it could be, too.
Stomachaches could be a sign they have a gut infection
One of those “most vital organs” is the gut. The gut has a lot going on within it and it does a lot on top of the most commonly known–digestion. Most of your immune system is in your gut. Your gut has a microbiome full of helpful bacteria your body needs. Your gut makes hormones that tell the rest of the body what to do and how to operate. Your gut also has neurotransmitters that work like they do in the brain–ever had a gut feeling? The NIH has this to say about the gut’s neurotransmitters:
“An enormous number of neurons are specifically associated with the gastrointestinal tract to control its many functions; indeed, more neurons are said to reside in the human gut than in the entire spinal cord.”
Within an organ that has so much going on, is it any surprise that it can very easily start feeling not well?
One of the most common factors is a gut infection. This can impact a lot, including brain health, due to just how much is going on in the gut.
What Can You Do?
As always, our first answer is to get tested–you can’t know how to fix something until you know what needs fixing. In this case, the test will be a stool test that tells you what bacteria are in your gut.
The gut infection could be coming from pollutants in your air or water. You may need to get a new water or air.
Stop eating sugar. Sugar is the favorite food of every bacteria and infection out there, and cutting it from your diet has multiple and immense positive effects in general, and for your gut in particular. Instead, have some prebiotic foods, and maybe an avocado. Cut the household chemicals, as these have been shown to decrease gut health in children. While you’re at it, cut these five habits that could be causing stomachaches in not only children, but adults in the household, as well.
Stomachaches could be a sign kids are eating foods they’re allergic to
The immune system is designed to be able to fight off foreign substances to protect your body. When a piece of food finds its way into the blood stream, it’s recognized as something foreign, and the body fights it off like it would a pathogen. Food gets into the bloodstream most often due to a leaky gut. Once the body has a record of antibodies made to fight off something in particular, that record stays active. Anytime the body registers it again, the immune response is triggered. This is where allergies come from–food getting into the bloodstream and tripping the body’s immune response.
Stomachaches are a very common signal related to the simple function of a child’s eating–eating too much, too fast, or that they’re still hungry. It can also be a sign that they ate something that isn’t settling well with them, either an allergen, or toxin
What Can You Do?
The first answer to this is the same as the first answer to the question about the gut infection–get tested. In this case, get your child’s allergies tested. When the answers about the allergens come back, stop eating them. The body won’t exhaust itself fighting something that’s supposed to give it nourishment, inflammation will go down, and the body will be on its way back to functioning properly.
Until the answers do come back, cut out things like sugar, naturally inflammatory foods, food coloring, GMOs, gluten, and foods with pesticides on them–including the dirty dozen. These will start the little one’s body back on its way to wellness.
These aren’t easy changes to make, and we’re well aware of that, which is one of the reasons The Wellness Way has some recipes and an app to start you off with to make the transition easier.
Stomachaches are not uncommon among children. Unfortunately, neither is unwellness. However, just because being sick is common, doesn’t make it natural. There is a lot going on in such a small space, and the systems and components of the body can be knocked out of homeostasis very easily. This can often make it harder to narrow down what in particular a stomachache is caused by. The fact that there is hardly ever only one cause to something going on in the body because everything is connected like a Swiss watch can make it even harder. To get tested, learn more, or find out how you can get a triad aer air filter, come into a Wellness Way clinic near you.